A: It’s important to make sure you are looking beyond vanity metrics, which are numbers or factors that don’t have an impact on the success or health of your business. A metric like visits to the website can provide information about how much traffic is coming to your website, but it doesn’t tell you what to do next or indicate how many of those visits resulted in conversions.
When looking at descriptive analytics, pay attention to metrics that reflect how well your business is actually performing. Conversion rate, for example, provides information about how many visitors went through the entire customer journey and completed the goal action, whether that’s making a purchase, becoming a subscriber, or something else. By analyzing the data surrounding conversion rate, you can see how many customers convert over time, and evaluate how well your marketing strategies are resonating with customers.
Paying undue attention to vanity metrics can waste an organization’s time, and not provide any helpful information that can inform next steps. With descriptive analytics, make sure you are analyzing data that you can use and build on.
Companies also need to focus on data quality and data governance. To maintain high-quality data, you should both invest in the right testing tools for your organization and encourage communication between your analytics, products, business functions, and engineering teams. Each owns a different part of the descriptive analytics process. If there is poor communication, the risk of mistakes and bad data quality increases. But by paying attention to data governance, which deals with the organization and restrictions of data, the data is easy to access and use properly.
Another important factor in using descriptive analytics strategically is being skeptical about the data. Don't just absorb what is being given to you and take it as fact. Become more inquisitive and ask more questions about the quality and numbers.